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My first bundt…

The other day, I finally got around to using the bundt pan I bought a few months ago. I used this Martha Stewart recipe for the cake, and then I played around with some ingredients on my own for the icing.

The cake was a little on the dry side. My oven runs cool, so I usually increase baking times. But with this, I should have stuck with what the recipe instructed.

And as you can see, the icing was a little too thick to really pour down over the sides of the cake and was mostly concentrated up at the top.

So my first bundt wasn’t a complete success. But no worries, I still ate the whole thing…

This week, I made chicken cutlets with a pomegranate-honey sauce.

I made the cutlets myself by halving chicken breasts and pounding them flat with my cast-iron pan (yes, it was the first time I’d ever done that). After dredging the cutlets in a little bit of olive oil and giving them a dusting of flour and a generous sprinkle of salt, I fried them in another splash of oil for just a few quick minutes on each side.

Whenever I’ve cooked chicken breasts before, they’ve usually come out dry and bland. These cutlets were so moist and flavorful – it was a pleasant surprise. While I was preparing them, I simmered some mashed up pomegranate seeds with honey and spices for a tangy-sweet sauce.

Served with an apple-walnut salad, it was a quick and easy weeknight meal…

Local yogurt…

Well, sort of.

Recently, I’ve been trying to eat more locally-made food, so I decided to switch yogurt brands to something made closer to home. The closest one I could find is from Pequea Valley Farm in Pennsylvania. It’s made by the Amish in Lancaster County from the milk of grass-fed Jersey cows (which I’m not embarrassed to say I just found out originally come from the British island and not the state).

It’s not truly local to me (I’m not within 100 miles of the farm), but it’s closer than before. My old yogurt, though beloved, came from clear across the country.

And while it’s a bit more expensive, it’s seriously delicious. So rich and creamy…

Eating rice…

This Farming Man is sick.

It’s the stomach flu, which isn’t actually the “flu” at all, or so I’ve read. Either way, it’s still pretty miserable. I’ve been eating rice, toast and Saltines. (So many Saltines…)

Things are a little better today. Fingers crossed that I’ve turned the corner…

Last night, I went to a potluck dinner with Brian and some of his friends from Tennessee. My contribution to the meal was a chess pie, which is a quintessentially Southern dessert, although apparently there are some variations from New England. It’s basically pure sugar, so some recipes include a teaspoon of vinegar to tone down the sweetness a bit.

I started with a recipe from Martha Stewart and added some unsweetened chocolate instead of the vinegar, so the finished pie tasted like brownies. It puffed up in the oven when it was baking and then settled as it cooled, so I covered the cracked top with some whipped cream when I served it…

Warm soup…

This year for Christmas, my parents gave me an immersion blender. I specifically asked for it; while I’m grateful to get any present from my parents, I’ve learned over the years that I need to be directive with them, or else I’ll end up with who knows what. (One year, they gave me a completely random home health guide, and the very next year? They gave me the exact same random home health guide…)

I finally used the blender for the first time this past weekend to make sweet potato and pea soup from a recipe I got from the Whole Foods app. It was incredibly easy and incredibly healthy — just vegetables, water and spices. After cooking the vegetables for an hour, I whipped out the blender and pureed everything until it was smooth.

I’ve been eating it all week with a toasted pumpkin seed garnish…

Today was cold and overcast, and after a quick trip to the grocery store in the morning, staying inside and baking felt like the right thing to do. So this afternoon I made peanut butter cookies.

The recipe came from My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness, which was written by Gwyneth Paltrow (a This Farming Man favorite). Keep reading…